What was that?!?

Monday, July 28, 2008

What was that?!?

Updated 07/28/2008 - 11:25 pm

Sunday started out beautifully... sunny, balmy skies, gentle Summer zephyrs... but by mid-afternoon I was out pulling large branches and medium-sized tree-limbs out of East Main Street so that the indecisive traffic could pass and gawk down Seafield Lane where fire ap­paratus was blocking passage while seeing to some minor emergency situation.

My wife, always with an eye to The Weather Channel, was equally as puzzled. It had fore­cast "severe thunderstorms with winds in excess of 60 mph," but that was for Metro D.C. and the mid-Atlantic States!

(The not-always reliable Channel 62 local report subsequently said that whatever it was, it would raise Long Island around Southold and move into the Sound from there. Pfuui!)

None of this explains what I was doing in the middle of the afternoon, in soaked shorts and a drenched tee-shirt, clearing the drain at the foot of the flag lot at #262 of catalpa leaves so we wouldn't have a greater flooding condition.

It was probably reflex... 52-55 years ago, when something like this arrived, dear ol' Dad and I stripped down to the essentials of modesty and went to work, driving the '36 Buick affec­tionately yclept "The Muttering Monster." We usually headed to Remsenburg and hauled SS and other small craft out of Fenner's creek and the Yacht Squadron.

That's how we spent Hurricane's Carol, Hazel and Diane in the mid-'50s, and what I did on my birthday in 1960 during Donna using Ber­nice Rill's long-bedded jeep... both my father and the "Monster" having passed on to their rewards by that time.

Now Sunday afternoon's severe weather wasn't a genuine hurricane, but parts of it felt like it... the sheets of warm rain driving out of the SouthWest (and elsewhere), the intensity of the wind gusts that blew trees and utility poles down, cut off everyone's cable and, in the early evening, power as well as LIPA tried their best to clear the mess on upper Beach Lane while PAC patrons milled under the marquee at 76 Main wondering if Donna Summer was going to ride out the blackness, or their $300-$1,000 tickets had just become expensive collectibles.

So I don't really know what it was, only that a lot of branches, limbs and leaves came down... as well as a miscellaneous utility pole or two, and that for a short span yesterday afternoon I recaptured a sense of my teens.

And if as it is said that politics makes strange bedfellows, so too do severe weather condi­tions: the only two people out on East Main Street that afternoon were me 'n' Dep'ty Mayor Jim Kametler.

No guns were drawn, no rancour exchanged... just a couple of guys pitching in.


Just got a look at the front yard of 46 Seafield Lane....

46 Seafield Lane

I haven't seen a tree that size blown over since Hurricane Belle in '76. It looks like the rest of the Village got off relatively easily.


1. Hampton West said...

Hampton West Estates (a/k/a "base housing") weathered the storm well - no downed trees, wires, etc - power and cable stayed on. I did notice however, a number of road kill 'possums on Old Riverhead Road near the LIRR tracks, maybe frightened by the weather. Perhaps this is a good thing as a decline in the population of 'possums might keep gun play down to a minimum in the Village.

Nice to hear from someone from the old neighborhood!

"Base housing?" I'd forgotten that, but my recollection is that there weren't that many large trees of the type which suffered damage in the Village.

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